AMOR y QUESO – How to Make a Heart-cuterie Board

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We’ve got three fantastic ideas for what we are calling Heart-cuterie boards.

Heart, soul and pansa – the trinity of our lives nourished by friends, family and food. As foodies and Latinos, we often show our love through food. And looking at me and Stephen, we sure do have a lot of love around us!


This short series is a how-to for creating your own cheese and charcuterie boards for your loved ones. 

For those purists out there, this is not a strict execution of a cured meats platter, so relax. We just wanted to have fun with it and show you how we share and nibble. In our book, there is no wrong way to make amor y queso heart-cuterie. 


We love sausage *wink*, but don’t over do it. Three types of meats is plenty. We often bunch up thin sheets of prosciutto, or wrap it around grissini, but we wanted to make easy rosettes. We asked the fine folks at our deli to slice three types of salami: peppered, Genoa and Soppressata. Nothing fancy, but still delicious. You want it thin enough so that you can fold and roll the salami. Then we selected a good Parmesan, hard and rich with fat crystals, a semi-hard aged Gouda and a soft, tangy goat’s cheese. Finish the board off with some brined olives and a drizzle of honey, or jam. Simple, and elegant. 


It might be easy to throw a bunch of raw vegetables on a platter and call it day, but remember we are not making crudite. Instead go with a mix of raw and cooked. Raw can be anything from carrots, peppers, radishes, etc. Cooked veggies can take on the guise of smoked, roasted, grilled or simply blistered on a hot comal. Smoked beets and blistered tomatoes are my favorites. For sweetness, we add a mix of fresh fruit (grapes, berries),  dried fruit (figs, cranberries) and a little bit of homemade jam. For crunch we have nuts and seeds and of course crackers. And somewhere on that board, you can always squeeze on olives and pickled cherry peppers.

What about the queso? We use Super Natural Almond Cheese. These little cheeses are hand crafted, sourced and produced right here in California. So far, creator Rochelle Palermo has crafted three distinct cheeses: Palermo is packed with fresh basil, California Dream (fennel pollen and rosemary), and Golden State (hand-blended curry). Super Natural Almond Cheese is available at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills…the first and ONLY vegan cheese to ever be sold there. 


Man, I’m a sucker for a good dessert board. The sky is the limit!

Start with a few baked goods, like mini conchas, orejas or other cookies (I’ll even take a slice of pie or cake). Have a good sauce, like melted chocolate for drizzling or, even better, our Dulce de Leche or  Cajeta for dipping, spreading and smearing. In a pinch, just a small bit of jam will do. Feel free to over-do the fresh fruit: all berries are great (cherries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) but something a little exotic is great too, like dragon fruit or even mangoes. And don’t forget the chocolate. Like, really, really good dark chocolate. Remember, a dessert board doesn’t have to be just “sweet.” Splurge here on a nice fat wedge of funky blue cheese. 

“Boards” have really taken over social media, and for good reason. They are easy to customize and are extremely user-friendly. Stick with what is in season (fruits, vegetables, herbs) and go for texture and color. When you want something saucy, look at different types of condiments (mustard, jams, honey), spreads (hummus, pesto) and when you want something pickled, look beyond cornichons and olives, or at least vary your olives. In the end, it’s meant to be fun. as long as you’re sharing good food with good people, then you’re doing it right.

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